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[00:00:03]

YEAH, SURE.

[Proclamations]

OKAY.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS ALISON ALTERNATE.

IT'S MY HONOR TO REPRESENT DISTRICT 10 CENTRAL NORTHWEST AUSTIN ON THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL.

I'M JOINED HERE THIS MORNING BY MY COLLEAGUE COUNCIL MEMBER OF VANESSA REPRESENTATIVES FROM CITY STAFF, AS WELL AS FOLKS FROM THE DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN WE'RE HERE SO THAT WE CAN HONOR THE CITY'S DIGITAL INCLUSION AND EQUITY EFFORTS.

LAST WEEK WAS AUSTIN'S DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK AND ANNUAL EVENT PUT ON BY THE NATIONAL DIGITAL INCLUSION ALLIANCE, BRINGING TOGETHER LOCAL DIGITAL INCLUSION ORGANIZATIONS, HOSTING SPECIAL EVENTS AND PROMOTING DIGITAL EQUITY ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK AIMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF SOLUTIONS, ADDRESSING HOME INTERNET, ACCESS, PERSONAL DEVICES, AND LOCAL TECHNOLOGY TRAINING AND SUPPORT PROGRAMS. DIGITAL INCLUSION IS THE ABILITY OF INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS TO EQUALLY ACCESS AND USE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AFFORDABLY, EFFICIENTLY AND RELIABLY.

ALONG WITH DIGITAL TRAINING, RESOURCES AND SKILLS NEEDED TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN DIGITAL SOCIETY.

HERE IN AUSTIN, WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE SUCH A ROBUST, DIVERSE, AND EXPANSIVE GROUP OF PEOPLE WORKING TO CONNECT AUSTINITES TO ALL FACETS OF OUR DIGITAL SOCIETY.

AND I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR EFFORTS IN TODAY'S AGE.

UM, THE INTERNET IS A NECESSARY UTILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN MODERN LIFE.

IT'S WHERE WE WORK, SPEAK WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND RUN ERRANDS.

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC PUT IN STARK RELIEF, THE IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL INCLUSION AND EQUITY.

WHEN OUR LIVES LARGELY MOVED ONLINE, IT WAS MADE CLEAR THAT FAR TOO MANY HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT.

I'M PROUD TO BE PART OF A COMMUNITY WORKING SO HARD TO CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND ENSURE EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO THE TOOLS AND KNOWLEDGE THEY NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN DIGITAL LIFE.

SEE, WE HAVE A DIGITAL LIFE HERE, UM, CAN ESCAPE AT, UM, THANK YOU TO RUN DELLA JESSE AND ALL THE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO MAKE UP THE DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN.

AND TO EVERYONE ABLE TO JOIN US THIS MORNING, IT IS MY HONOR TO OFFER THIS PROCLAMATION, BE IT KNOWN THAT WHEREAS BROADBAND SERVICES ARE ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN PROVIDING ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE AND OPPORTUNITIES.

AND WHEREAS DIGITAL EQUITY INSURANCE, ALL INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY CAPACITY NEEDED FOR FULL PARTICIPATION IN OUR SOCIETY, DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMY AND DIGITAL EQUITY IS NECESSARY FOR CIVIC AND CULTURAL PARTICIPATION, LIFELONG LEARNING ACCESS TO TELEHEALTH SERVICES AND ACCESS TO ESSENTIAL SERVICES.

AND WHEREAS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS HIGHLIGHTED THE NEED FOR RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET TO ENSURE DIGITAL EQUITY ACROSS AUSTIN.

AND WHEREAS THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS COMMITTED TO CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTED AND MAKING INVESTMENTS IN PROMOTING DIGITAL EQUITY AND PARTNERING WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES ACROSS SECTORS TO ADDRESS DIGITAL EQUITY ON A REGIONAL LEVEL.

NOW, THEREFORE I COUNCIL MEMBER ALISON ALTER ALONG WITH MY COLLEAGUE COUNCIL MEMBER, VANESSA FONTIS ON BEHALF OF STEVE ADLER, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS DO HEREBY PROCLAIM OCTOBER FOUR THROUGH EIGHTH, 2021 AS DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK 2021.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I GIVE YOU THAT.

SO I TAKE OFF MY KNEES WE CAN DO IT AFTER.

OKAY, GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UH, JUST TO MAKE A COUPLE OF REMARKS, RUN DELLA HAWKINS WITH THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS OFFICE FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND I REALLY WANT TO THANK THIS FOR THE SUPPORT AND RECOGNITION FROM COUNCIL MEMBER, ALTAR COUNCIL MEMBER FUENTES AND ALL MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

UM, WE'VE, UM, BEEN VERY COMMITTED TO ENSURING DIGITAL INCLUSION FOR ALL, UM, IN OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH SUPPORTING A GRANT PROGRAM.

UH, WE'VE GOT THE DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN WE WORK CLOSELY WITH.

I MEAN, IT COULDN'T BE DONE WITHOUT THE WORK OF ALL THE NONPROFITS AND THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND, OUR SERVICE PROVIDERS.

UH, SO YES, IT WAS THE PANDEMIC THAT REALLY ELEVATED THE CRITICAL NEED FOR THE RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE INTERNET FOR APPROPRIATE DEVICES, FOR PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO ACTUALLY UTILIZE AND HAVE THE SKILLS TO USE THE INTERNET

[00:05:01]

AND COMPUTER, THE COMPUTER DEVICES, UM, BUT ALSO TECH SUPPORT, UM, MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE, UH, WHENEVER THEY GET A DEVICE AND HAVE THE TRAINING, BUT WHAT IF SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, GOES, GOES HAYWIRE AND THEN IT'S NOT, THEY CAN'T UTILIZE, UM, THE EQUIPMENT.

SO, UM, AGAIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE RECOGNITION.

AND I ALSO WANT TO INTRODUCE THE CHAIR OF OUR COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, NEHEMIAH PITS.

THE THIRD, UH, WE'VE GOT, UM, WE HAVE A GREAT SUPPORT FROM OUR COMMISSION AND I JUST WANT TO INTRODUCE HIM TO SAY A FEW WORDS.

THANK YOU.

HELLO EVERYBODY.

GOOD MORNING.

UH, AS WENDELL MENTIONED, MY NAME IS NEHEMIAH PITS AND I CHAIR THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.

AND IT'S REALLY AN HONOR TO BE HERE TODAY TO HONOR TO RECOGNIZE THE PROCLAMATION OF DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK 2021, WHEN DIGITAL INCLUSION COMES TO MIND.

THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND FOR ME IS THE EVER-PRESENT DIGITAL DIVIDE.

AND IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT CAN BE HARD FOR PEOPLE TO GET A HANDLE ON NECESSARILY IF THEY DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND FOR LIKE AUSTIN, WHICH HAS OVERCOME SO MUCH HISTORICALLY AND HAS SUCH A BRIGHT FUTURE.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE LEGACY OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE HERE BEGAN WITH THE 1928 STRATEGIC PLAN THAT REGRETTABLY SEGREGATED OUR CITY IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT MADE A DIVIDE IN VARIETY OF CAPACITIES, BUT THE SAME, THE SAME LINES THAT WERE USED TO DICTATE LENDING OUTCOMES ALSO UNFORTUNATELY AFFECTED THE ACCESS TECHNOLOGY AND THEN OVER TIME TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT.

AND NOW WHAT WE SEE IN OUR CITY IS THE CONNECTING OF THE EAST AND THE WEST, A FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN THIS COMMUNITY.

THAT'S GOING TO CONNECT SUBURBAN, URBAN AND RURAL COMMUNITIES AROUND AUSTIN AND THE WHOLE GREATER AUSTIN AREA.

AND THAT TO ME IS REALLY AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FULFILLMENT OF THAT BRIDGING AND FOR REAL DIGITAL INCLUSION.

SO I'D LIKE FOR US ALL TO JUST KEEP THAT IN MIND, AS WE MOVE FORWARD HERE AS A COMMUNITY, THAT WE HAVE A DIVIDE THAT WE'RE LOOKING TO BRIDGE, AND WE'RE WORKING HARD AS A COMMUNITY WITH OUR COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT ARE PRESENT HERE TODAY WITH OUR ACCOUNT CITY COUNCIL THAT ACTUALLY APPROVED THIS PROCLAMATION WITH OUR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AS PART OF THE DECA DIGITAL APARTMENT COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN.

AND CERTAINLY AS A COMMISSION, AS WE WORK TO REALLY FOCUS ON DIGITAL EQUITY AND WHAT IT MEANS TO THEN MAINTAIN A ROBUST INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CAN SUPPORT BROADBAND FOR ALL WITH THAT I'D LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR THIS TIME TODAY AND KEEP US ALL FOCUSED ON DIGITAL INCLUSION AS A COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

AM I OH YEAH.

SHOULD WE DO IT? SHE MADE IT MAYBE GET AWAY FROM US OR SHOULD WE JUST, CAN WE JUST MAKE THE LECTERN OR WE HAVE THE CITY OF AUSTIN THING.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE THIS, ARE WE

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.